You awaken inside golden sunlight splashing across your bed.
An enormous, four-poster, intricately carved mahogany bed draped with gossamer silk.
You stretch languidly beneath your thousand dollar Pratesi sheets, which feel like satin against your skin.
Rolling your head to the side on fat, goose down pillows, you look out into your yard through French terrace doors.
A beautiful, sunny day awaits.
You inhale deeply the scent of blossoming roses, magnolias and fresh fruit wafting up from the trees in your garden, and imagine their succulence. You’ll have Deni, your head gardener, clip some choice blooms and collect a basket of petals for Pita, your live-in housekeeper, to arrange into lovely bouquets and potpourri for the grand foyer, sitting, formal and powder rooms of your mansion.
Your whole estate should smell so sweet!
You yawn widely, and contemplate snuggling back into your soft, feather bed for another hour or so. Running your fingers through your hair, you decide against it.
Your expertly weaved tresses are styling-moose stiff from last night’s charity gala, and your nails are just a touch too formal for the late luncheon and shopping outing you have scheduled with the ladies this afternoon.
“Pita!” You summon your housekeeper, who should already be at your side by now with freshly ground coffee, a mango mimosa, a warm croissant and freshly sliced fruit from your trees. Why must you have to call out to her? Where is she?
“Sorry, m’am.” Here she is, your breakfast on a tray.”I thought you might want to sleep in after the party last night. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
Sweet. But still.
“Did Janet get the kids off to school on time?” You are beginning to wonder about your children’s new nanny. She seems to lack a sense of promptness.
You prop yourself up on your dozen or so cushy, silk-covered down pillows, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
$ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $ * $
You jolt awake, assailed by the blaring clock alarm.
You peel back your funky polyester sheets (no time this week to do laundry), and drag your exhausted body into a sitting position.
God, you’re tired.
You sleepily contemplate moving your bed into the cubicle beside your desk at work because it feels like all you do is work, spend a fatigue-foggy hour or two with your family, sleep for what feels like a few minutes, then back to work again.
“MO-OOM! I’m HUN-GREEE!!” Your son’s screeching slams your brain into your skull. You wonder if slipping a sedative into his cereal could be considered self-defense?
On your way into the kitchen, a nasty stench wafts after you. “Is that me?” You panic, trying to remember your last shower. Wait, it was yesterday. You shouldn’t be stinking yet…
Then you see it.
The cat’s litter box, filled with poop.
You’re too tired to yell at your daughter for not cleaning it out, and too tired to do it yourself.
You know it will calcify before your kids do anything about it, but by the time you make your way into the kitchen your brain has filed it in your mental to-do box – which already has files dating as far back as the 1990’s.
“I hope you’re not making bacon,” your daughter greets you in the kitchen. “Remember I don’t eat red meat. Make something healthy for a change, will you?”
“Sure, sweetie!” You grab a bowl, a spoon, and head back toward the cat’s litter box. No jury in the land will convict you.
As you scoop up kitty poo to feed your kid, you wonder what it’s like to be rich…
Which one of these lives do you live?
Can you see living the other?
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